The last week has been hard. A week ago, the HK Education Bureau decided to shut down all the primary schools due to a couple of local cases of swine flu. The decision came quickly and within an hour of hearing the news, our year in grade five (and my three years teaching in HK) came to a teary close. We ended up having about half hour to share the news with the kids, somehow get their stuff (from a year!) all packed up, and give lots of hugs and last goodbyes. It was a blur. Being in a room with 19 weeping eleven year olds (and 1 twenty-seven year old) is a sad place to be! There were some very special moments that I'll hang onto from that day. Such a hard way to finish what has been a great year, and difficult for the kids to find good closure in such a sudden ending. Of course, this week was supposed to be one big party- Medieval feast, bowling, pizza, and apparently a surprise farewell for the teacher. I had such a colorful class this year- and quite an attached bunch.
Today has also been especially difficult as I found out that it would not be possible to get together with the kids outside of school, for one final party and farewell. The kids had directed their energy (and they have a lot of it!!) this week towards planning this party and it was supposed to happen today, but sigh...it couldn't happen due to the restrictions from the government. I am so sad to let down the kids again. I know they'll be okay- it will be fine in awhile- but it doesn't feel good right now.
The school closure has left me with an extra week of cleaning up and organizing time in my classroom. I am glad for the extra time, though it has felt strangely quiet in Room 402. Last Friday everything came down in the classroom, and that was hard, too. I've loved creating a 'learning home' for kids, and I loved my classroom. I was glad to take some time to give thanks for all the great kids, and all of the fun memories created, all that I saw and learned in my time as a teacher here. This week I've spent most of my time working on a project for my kids. I think they will love it.
So I'm in mending, feeling a little drained, but working on making the most of my next month (and only two weeks in HK). Each day is now scheduled with some kind of supper, coffee date or party. Thank you, google calendar! Life-saver! I recall my post a week or so ago- and I'm still in that place tonight- so grateful for this season of life. I hope I can communicate that gratitude well in the next two weeks- I have many people to thank and bless as I go!